Martin Shuster


Martin Shuster is Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri. Previously, he was the Richard Macksey Fellow in Aesthetics and the Critical Theory of Value at the Humanities Center of Johns Hopkins University, and prior to that the Chauncey Truax Posdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy at Hamilton College. He is also a prior fellow of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Shuster specializes in European philosophy from Kant onwards, especially as this tradition intersects with Jewish philosophy and with Anglo-American philosophy. His book, Autonomy after Auschwitz: Adorno, German Idealism, and Modernity (University of Chicago Press, 2014), explores the relationship between our modern commitment to autonomy and the extreme evils we have witnessed in modernity. He has also published on other post-WW2 figures, including Hannah Arendt and Emmanuel Levinas. Shuster also has a strong interest in aesthetics and is presently finishing a book called From a Vast Wasteland: Philosophy, America, and New Television (under contract with University of Chicago Press), which explores the aesthetic and political significance of shows like The WireWeeds, Justified, and others.

With Kathy Kiloh, he is also the founder of The Association for Adorno Studies.

In philosophy of religion, he is interested above all in what it means to talk about God ‘after Auschwitz’ and specifically in how religion is or comes to be intertwined with politics, ethics, and aesthetics. On the wings of this communal study, he is working on as yet un-titled book in Jewish philosophy, one that revolves around metaphysical claims about God, especially in the work of Salomon Maimon, Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and Gershom Scholem.